Book Review: Far From the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy

Far From the Madding Crowd

It seems like I have been reviewing a lot of classic books recently. I must be in a classic mood, or I’m just reading a lot to keep up with my “Favorite Books of the Year” series. Either way, this is a book that has sat on my bookshelf for months, and on my TBR for years. I learned a bit about the plot from the movie adaptation from 2015, and it didn’t look really interesting. But it is a classic, so I decided to read it.

Release: 1874

Page Count: 477

Format: Paperback

Synopsis: This story follows the independent Bathsheba Everdene, who inherits her uncle’s farm and radically decides to run it herself. Into her life come three men who change her future forever: older farmer Boldwood, notorious womanizer soldier Troy, and quiet shepherd Gabriel Oak.

Spoiler Review

There is a lot I enjoyed about this book. I loved Oak’s character. He is the perfect combination of gentlemanly, strong, but incredibly kind. However, while I thought all the characters were well-developed, I didn’t like any of the other main characters. Bathsheba is a narcissist, with pride so great it gets her into trouble after trouble. Any tragic turn her lift takes felt kind of deserved. Boldwood is obsessive and Troy is just a typical douchebag. I loved the book’s feel of a small English town, as we learned about the farming life pf the fictional Weatherbury. This book is filled with common Victorian tradition and culture and I was fascinated by this aspect. I was honestly also curious about where this strange romance would end up, as it has some weird twists.

Due to this being a classic, I’m going to give away some spoilers, so if you don’t want any spoilers, just skip the next paragraph.

Bathsheba ends up marrying Troy, who constantly cheats on her. Eventually he is believed drowned and vanishes for years, while Oak stays silently by Bathsheba’s side helping to run her farm and Boldwood starts to court her strongly. Troy returns and demands Bathsheba come back to him. Boldwood kills him, and Bathsheba realizes it was Oak she always loved and they marry. Crazy ending…honestly, I kind of wanted Bathsheba to end up alone after how horribly she treated everyone, but I also understand she went through a hard life after Troy vanished and grew up quite a bit. Still, I wanted better for Oak.

Now, would I recommend this book? I ended up giving it three stars on Goodreads, mostly because of how annoying Bathsheba was to me. However, I honestly would recommend this book. Similar to Charles Dickens and Elizabeth Gaskell (among a lot of other Victorian authors), this book is moreso interesting because the examination of England during that time, with all its quirks and fashion. It’s also interesting to see such a strong, independent woman in this era, even if she was kind of a horrible human being.

Have you read this book? Is it a book you someday want to read? Let me know your thoughts down in the comments, follow my blog for more musings and, as always,

Best wishes in your life full of adventure,

Madame Writer

11 thoughts on “Book Review: Far From the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy

  1. I read Far From the Madding Crowd when I was a kid and just starting to read “grown-up” books. It was my mum’s favourite Hardy (she had a crush on Gabriel Oak) and she lent me her copy. I don’t remember much of it, but I vividly remember the scene when he saves the sheep after they eat too much clover!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I really want to read Tess of the D’urbervilles, even if the movie was a bit sad. And I know nothing about Jude the Obscure, but I want to read a lot more books by Thomas Hardy.


  2. I have several books I’m reading but 3 are classics. Bleak House by Charles Dickens, Villette by Charlotte Bronte, and A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith. The last book is a reread. I began reading Bleak House a few nights ago and had read only a few pages when I realized this book is just what I needed to read. I had a feeling come over me and just knew. Sometimes reading is like that. A book just meets me where I am in life and is a comfort. All 3 of the books I’m reading are wonderful, but at this time Bleak House stands out.
    I’ve read Far From the Madding Crowd but it’s been many years ago. I’ve read other books by Thomas Hardy including a book of poems. The books are Tess of the d’Ubervilles, Jude the Obscure, The Mayor of Casterbridge.

    Liked by 1 person

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